Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Dave Clark Bassist Rick Huxley Passes On

Rick Huxley, the bassist for The Dave Clark Five, died yesterday, 12 February 2013, at the age of 72. He had suffered from emphysema for many years. Rick Huxley was born on 5 August 1942 in Dartford, Kent. It was in 1958, when he was 16 years old, that he answered an advertisement for a guitarist in a new band being formed by drummer Dave Clark. Formerly The Dave Clark Quintet, it became The Dave Clark Five after Rick Huxley joined. Rick Huxley became the band's bassist with the departure of original bassist Chris Walls in 1959. Mike Smith joined the band as its pianist in 1960. Lenny Davidson joined the group as its lead guitarist in 1961. With its classic line up in place, The Dave Clark Five signed a contract with Pye in 1962. The band's singles on the Pye label saw little action on the carts, despite the popularity of The Dave Clark Five as a live act throughout England. It was then in 1963 that the band switched from the Pye label to EMI.

Now on EMI, The Dave Clark Five had a modest hit with their cover of The Contours' "Do You Love Me." Their next single would be their breakthrough hit. "Glad All Over" went to number one on the UK singles chart. Released in November 1963, "Glad All Over" would repeat its success in the United States, reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Over the next several years The Dave Clark Five would have hits on both sides of the Atlantic, including "Bits and Pieces (#2 in the UK, #4 in the US), "Can't You See That She's Mine" (#10 in the UK, #4 in the U.S.), "Because" (#3 in the UK, #4 in the U.S.), "Catch Us If You Can" (#5 in the UK, #4 in the U.S.), "Anyway You Want It" (#25 in the UK, #14 in the U.S.), "Over And Over" (#1 in the U.S.), and "You Got What It Takes" (#7 in the U.S.). The Dave Clark Five were popular enough to warrant their own motion picture, Catch Us if You Can (Having a Wild Weekend in the U.S.), released in 1965. It was perhaps the best of the Sixties rock musicals of the Sixties besides The Beatles' films and was directed by a young John Boorman.

Unfortunately The Dave Clark Five's fortunes would change with the changing music scene of the Sixties. In 1967 psychedelia began to dominate both the British and American charts, and The Dave Clark Five did not embrace this new subgenre of rock. While the band would have a few more top ten hits in the United Kingdom, their last top forty hit in the United States was "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" in 1967. Despite having two top ten hits in 1969 and 1970 ("Good Old Rock 'n' Roll" and "Everybody Get Together") in the United Kingdom, the group disbanded in 1970.

Following the group's break up, Rick Huxley worked for amplifier manufacturer Vox for two years. With his friend Doug Jackson, he ran the company Music Equipment from 1973 to 1987. Afterwards he worked in the electrical wholesaling business.

The Dave Clark Five were one of the biggest bands to emerge from the United Kingdom in the Sixties. With a style that depended a good deal on rhythm, Rick Huxley was a large part of their success. Combined with Dave Clark's powerful drum playing and Mike Smith's keyboards, Rick Huxley's bass helped create style that can be described as energetic and driven. It was a style that set them apart from any other band, British or American, that existed at the time. While they may not have had the sustained success of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five will nonetheless be remembered.

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